On my birthday this past year, I received an ice cream maker from Ryan. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you know ice cream is my favorite food. By far. It takes the cake above all other food by a landslide, and just thinking about a cold, creamy bowl of ice cream is enough to make me feel a little giddy. My affinity for ice cream runs deep.
Naturally, after receiving a new ice cream maker, I became a little obsessed with making homemade ice cream. I’d love to blame this on the fact that I was in the third trimester of my pregnancy in the heat of the summer, but that would be a blatant lie. I want ice cream regardless of the outside temperatures and regardless of whether or not I’m growing a tiny human in my belly. I had a lot of homemade ice cream successes, most notably a batch of cookies ‘n’ cream that was jam-packed with so many cookies it put the store bought versions to shame.
Now that we’re smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season, my desire to make festive ice cream flavors has kicked into high gear. I’ve been experimenting with eggnog ice cream made with crushed Biscoff cookies (oh my gosh, so good), gingerbread ice cream (this one I need to work on) and, the recipe I’m sharing with you guys today, Peppermint Cookies ‘n’ Cream Ice Cream.
We’re talking tons of crunchy cookie pieces swirled into a refreshingly minty-vanilla ice cream base that’s so good even Santa would bypass a plate of cookies in favor of a bowl of this holiday magic.
Here’s everything you need to make it:
- PET® Dairy Whole Milk
- PET Heavy Whipping Cream
- Peppermint Extract
- Vanilla Extract
- Candy Canes or Peppermints
- Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
There are a few non-negotiables for me when it comes to making homemade ice cream. Most important, for me, is using some combination of whole milk, heavy whipping cream or half ‘n’ half as the base. Icy ice cream is my biggest pet peeve so I’m not willing to chance it with ingredients that might yield a less-than-creamy ice cream base.
For this batch of peppermint cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream, I used a combination of farm-fresh whole milk and heavy whipping cream from PET® Dairy, which is farmer-owned and sources its milk from family farms in our region. One family farm in the Charlotte area that supplies milk to PET is Sand Hills Dairy, a third-generation dairy farm run by Scott and Kitty Mayer in Newberry, South Carolina. Started as Mayer Farms in 1949, the family has grown the farm and welcomed more family into their business along the way. Knowing that PET’s milks, creams and eggnogs I see on the shelves at the grocery store near me might have come from the Mayer Family is pretty darn cool and makes scooping up a bowl of this peppermint cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream feel a little more special!
Integrated into the milk and cream base is a bunch of finely crushed peppermints (or candy canes!) that give the ice cream a subtle pink hue and a whole lot of refreshing peppermint flavor. I used a food processor to crush the peppermints but if you choose to crush them by hand, make sure you really put some elbow grease behind it because you want them almost powder-like in consistency.
Once the ice cream is all churned up and beautifully thick and creamy, you’ll want to freeze it for 8 hours (or overnight) so it has time to harden just a bit and become perfectly scoopable. This is not the kind of ice cream that will come out rock-hard after 8 hours though. It has the kind of texture I like to refer to as “ice cream you immediately eat right after you bring it home from the grocery store” consistency which, for me, is my all-time favorite. It’s hard enough to maintain its shape when scooped but soft enough to taste almost whipped but still oh so creamy. I want some more of THAT in my life every day, please!
Regardless of whether it’s 70 degrees where you are or 30 degrees in your hometown, I hope this peppermint cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream makes your holiday season a little sweeter!
Peppermint Cookies ‘n’ Cream Ice CreamPrint
This Peppermint Cookies ‘n’ Cream Ice Cream is a cold and creamy holiday delight packed with crunchy cookie pieces.
- 2 cups PET heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup PET whole milk
- 4 ounces very finely crushed peppermint candies or candy canes (approximately 22 crushed Starlight Mints) + additional 1/4 cup finely chopped peppermints (for garnish, if desired)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 dozen chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
- Combine heavy whipping cream, whole milk, 4 ounces crushed peppermint candies (see note below!), sugar, vanilla and peppermint extract in a large mixing bowl and whisk together vigorously until everything is combined and sugar is no longer grainy in the mix. (Letting it sit for 30 minutes in the refrigerator and then whisking it again — or blending in a high-powdered blender — helps the sugar dissolve well.)
- Pour into ice cream maker and churn for approximately 30 minutes, or until ice cream begins to thicken and become very creamy.
- Pour crushed cookies into the ice cream and allow to churn for an additional 5 minutes.
- Using a spatula, transfer the mixture into a baking dish (I used a typical loaf pan) and cover. Freeze for at least 8 hours or, ideally, overnight.
- Remove from the freezer and scoop into bowls. Garnish with additional cookies and crushed peppermint (if desired) and enjoy!
If your peppermint candies do not dissolve into the creamy mixture and begin to clump together, you may need to transfer the mixture into a high-powered blender to make sure no clumps remain.